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#3269434 - 06/17/13 09:35 AM Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler
Deck78
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Registered: 10/07/10
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We processed some pastured broilers this weekend and we got some fatties in this batch. Had a few weigh in around 6.5# dressed and the fat content was exceptional on these birds. Here's a quick run down of the operation with some photos.

We heat the pot the old fashioned way...over a fire in a steel barrel




Temp needs to be about 147 deg far





Killing cones make it a lot easier than stretching the neck between 2 spikes on a stump





Let's take a little walk....





Arteries are cut and bird bleeds out real quick with just a few shakes and twitches





About 4 dunks in the hot water loosen up the feathers enough to get plucking. Before we go fulltime next season we'll have a commercial plucker but for now we do it by hand





Hand plucking a bird takes a few minutes and is worth every feather you got to pull in order to leave the skin on the bird. As Poser has repeatedly preached in his posts, the skin is key to the whole operation





Tools of the trade





A look at some of the nice neck fat on this bird. This makes a chicken farmer real proud!





The finished product






Next year we'll be selling pastured birds from the farm so ya'll start saving your pennies now
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#3269441 - 06/17/13 09:53 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Deck78]
RUGER Administrator
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Very cool. \:D
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#3269448 - 06/17/13 10:04 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: RUGER]
SCAT
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You'll have to build one of these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2KreE8Wwyk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMGZMoENjcU
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#3269450 - 06/17/13 10:04 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: RUGER]
Andy S.
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Registered: 07/26/99
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Good overview with photos, thanks for sharing.
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#3269479 - 06/17/13 10:37 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: SCAT]
Deck78
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Registered: 10/07/10
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 Originally Posted By: CR500AFX


Yeah, Herrick (whizbang guy) definitely has a nice model for a DIY plucker. That dude comes up with some pretty innovative ideas
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#3269629 - 06/17/13 01:42 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Deck78]
DaveB
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Registered: 09/03/08
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Loc: Shelby County

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You talking ten birds, 100, 1,000?

You taking orders?

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#3269741 - 06/17/13 04:31 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: DaveB]
TAFKAP
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Very cool. How many pennies do you think it'll take?

Hippy shops around here are asking $20 or more for some tiny little birds.
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#3269755 - 06/17/13 04:48 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: TAFKAP]
BamaProud
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Registered: 04/03/11
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Loc: Shelby County, TN

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Have you ever tried Paraffin Wax to "pluck" the birds? We (well really my day as I was a kid) used to do it that way in the 70s-early 80s when we killed bunch of ducks. It is especially good at removing the pin feathers and fine down feathers(I am not even sure if Chickens have those)
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#3269829 - 06/17/13 06:34 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: DaveB]
Deck78
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Registered: 10/07/10
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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
You talking ten birds, 100, 1,000?

You taking orders?



This winter we'll take orders for next season. Target goal is 1,000 birds next season. Still going through some hoops with the USDA and their vague rules regarding my processing plant
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#3269831 - 06/17/13 06:37 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: TAFKAP]
Deck78
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 Originally Posted By: TAFKAP
Very cool. How many pennies do you think it'll take?

Hippy shops around here are asking $20 or more for some tiny little birds.


Yeah, lump us into the hippy shop crowd, these are clean birds that don't get anything but certified organic corn,wheat,barley,fava and kelp minerals. Won't know what market price is next year but it will be north of $4/lb. worth every penny if you make stock with the birds. We put feet,liver, and heart in with the birds so you get a seriously thick, gelatinous stock.
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#3269924 - 06/17/13 08:28 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Deck78]
Deck78
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Registered: 10/07/10
Posts: 736
Loc: hipster hollow

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Here's a half gallon of chicken soup. Check out that dark orange broth!

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#3270525 - 06/18/13 05:39 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Deck78]
cecil30-30
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Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..
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#3270538 - 06/18/13 05:54 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: cecil30-30]
TITANSFAN2104
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Registered: 05/19/11
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Some like the skin on there. I'm with you Cecil , I like skinning birds now!!
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#3270558 - 06/18/13 06:18 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: cecil30-30]
Deck78
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Registered: 10/07/10
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 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


I have definitely skinned my fair share of birds back in the day and it makes the job a lot easier but now that I know the value of what's in the skin of a bird I leave it on every time!
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#3270598 - 06/18/13 07:12 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: cecil30-30]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


Skinless chicken? Really? What are you going to do with a skinless chicken? -that's the best part.
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#3270600 - 06/18/13 07:12 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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Beautiful pics.
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Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3270623 - 06/18/13 07:39 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Poser]
cecil30-30
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Registered: 12/05/06
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Loc: Morgan Co

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


Skinless chicken? Really? What are you going to do with a skinless chicken? -that's the best part.
It is the best part,especially when fried,but its not the best part for your health.. \:D
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The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." -Thomas Jefferson


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#3270962 - 06/19/13 08:21 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: cecil30-30]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


Skinless chicken? Really? What are you going to do with a skinless chicken? -that's the best part.
It is the best part,especially when fried,but its not the best part for your health.. :D


That's not necessarily a true statement. Animal fat, in moderation, is a perfectly natural and healthy food. Plus, its much easier to cook fowl with the skin on than skinless. I pluck all birds: Doves, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys, Pigeons... even sparrows and starlings. Its a little extra effort for a undeniably superior meal. With the exception of waterfowl, that's often the only fat you are going to get on a bird and it gives you way more cooking options.

If we're talking sheer convenience, why not just go to KFC? Its cheaper, easier and quicker. (that's why I'm always annoyed with "convenience" arguments by hunters regarding plucking wild birds: There is absolutely nothing "convenient" about going duck hunting, so why should you expect anything different when it comes to butchering? It like, you'll get up at 2:30 in the morning, stand in waist deep, freezing water for 8 hours, but you don't have time to pluck a bird?)
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3271051 - 06/19/13 10:13 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Poser]
Deck78
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Registered: 10/07/10
Posts: 736
Loc: hipster hollow

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


Skinless chicken? Really? What are you going to do with a skinless chicken? -that's the best part.
It is the best part,especially when fried,but its not the best part for your health.. :D


That's not necessarily a true statement. Animal fat, in moderation, is a perfectly natural and healthy food. Plus, its much easier to cook fowl with the skin on than skinless. I pluck all birds: Doves, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys, Pigeons... even sparrows and starlings. Its a little extra effort for a undeniably superior meal. With the exception of waterfowl, that's often the only fat you are going to get on a bird and it gives you way more cooking options.

If we're talking sheer convenience, why not just go to KFC? Its cheaper, easier and quicker. (that's why I'm always annoyed with "convenience" arguments by hunters regarding plucking wild birds: There is absolutely nothing "convenient" about going duck hunting, so why should you expect anything different when it comes to butchering? It like, you'll get up at 2:30 in the morning, stand in waist deep, freezing water for 8 hours, but you don't have time to pluck a bird?)


^ yeah, what he said
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#3271440 - 06/19/13 08:02 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Deck78]
timberjack86
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Registered: 06/20/11
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Loc: Grundy county

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#3271571 - 06/19/13 10:52 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: cecil30-30]
TAFKAP
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Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9549
Loc: Memphis

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 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


Skinless chicken? Really? What are you going to do with a skinless chicken? -that's the best part.
It is the best part,especially when fried,but its not the best part for your health.. \:D


Depends on who you ask.....
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#3271586 - 06/20/13 12:29 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Deck78]
catman529
spiderboy
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Cool deal, my family might even want to buy some from yall next year.
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#3502684 - 12/16/13 08:42 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: catman529]
plinker22
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Registered: 02/07/05
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Great group of pictures. The "killing cones" are a fantastic idea (well for you, not the birds).

I hope your venture goes great next year!
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#3502699 - 12/16/13 08:52 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: Poser]
redblood
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Registered: 01/22/06
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Loc: Lewisburg

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


Skinless chicken? Really? What are you going to do with a skinless chicken? -that's the best part.




i agree (i cant believe i actually said that)

on a serious note, if you are on any printed work out plan that includes dietary recommendations- skinless chicken is a must. But the skin is the best part of the clucker, IMO
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#3502711 - 12/16/13 08:56 AM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: plinker22]
Hardwoodmaterials
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We modified some short orange road cones for killing cones and they worked great. We had a small electric scalder so you could set your temp. and not have to worry with it to much. The real best part thou was a small wash tub style plucker! We could drop 3 birds in, flip it on and they would come out clean with very few stray feathers in just a minute or two. Made everything go A LOT faster! Plus a cheap lung removal tool is pretty handy if your doing a bunch of birds.
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#3503259 - 12/16/13 02:55 PM Re: Butchering Yard Birds In The Holler [Re: cecil30-30]
Crappie Luck Moderator
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 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
Have you ever tried skinning the birds? We used to pluck them until we found out how to skin one.Never will I pluck another bird..


I skin all mine. We do about 30-50 a year.

Plucking is just too much mess/work.
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